Sunday 18 March 2012

The First Ten Weeks of Motherhood

I have now been a Mum for nine weeks and six days - an impressive amount of time I’m sure you’ll agree. In that time I think I have done a pretty good job. I’ve fed my baby on demand whenever she has been hungry; in cafes, restaurants, car parks, during her hearing test and on a park bench. I’ve stayed awake cuddling her when she hasn’t wanted to be put down, no matter how tired I’ve been. I’ve let countless (but at an estimate I’d say definitely over one hundred) cups of tea go cold next to me because I’ve been busy looking after her. I’ve changed nappies, I’ve bathed her, I’ve sung to her (she probably wouldn’t thank me for this if she could talk, I don’t have the greatest of voices), I’ve read her stories and I’ve told her all kind of things about all kinds of things.

I’ve skipped meals without noticing because I’ve been so busy, I’ve walked up and down the stairs over and over again to change nappies. I’ve worn pyjamas all day because I haven’t had time to get dressed. I’ve been late for every social event in the past ten weeks. I’ve arrived downstairs in a new outfit only to discover vomit all over my shoulder. I’ve jumped out of baths as she has pooed, weed and vomited into them (not all at the same time). I’ve dressed and redressed her as she throws up on her clothes. I’ve been punched, scratched, kicked and slobbered on.
My house has been taken over by tiny clothes, toys, blankets, prams, car seats, moses baskets, bouncy chairs, soft toys, muslin cloths, nappies and baby wipes. My house has been taken over by mess which I struggle to find the time to clean. My mind has been taken over by thoughts of weight gain, nappy contents and feeding times. My Google history has been taken over by embarrassing questions like “Why is my baby’s poo green?”, “baby shaking head wildly on boob, what does it mean?” and “is it normal for a baby to strain while they poo?”. My body was taken over by morning sickness, aching muscles and chapped lips. My stomach was stretched, kicked and distorted over nine long months. My wardrobe has been taken over by elasticated waistbands, breast pads and huge knickers. Seriously, huge.
It takes me at least two hours to do jobs that previously took only a few minutes. Getting downstairs in the morning is a mammoth task constantly interrupted by feeds and nappy changes. I have to cook meals that can easily be switched off and recooked later, just in case. I have to carry nappies, baby wipes and a changing mat with me everywhere I go.
I can’t believe it has only been ten short weeks, it feels as though she has always been a part of our family. I remember the first day of her life. I hadn’t slept for over fifty hours by the time I got into bed that day, but I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was lean over the side of the bed and gaze at the amazing little bundle of love snuggled up fast asleep in the moses basket. It didn’t feel real that she was finally here. Those first two weeks are a blur. Ebony didn’t want to sleep on her own, she just wanted to sleep in our arms. So me and Laurie worked in shifts and I didn’t manage to get more than three hours sleep at a time because I was constantly woken up for feeds. Even now, ten weeks later the most hours of consecutive sleep I’ve managed is five. But I don’t care. I have never been happier than I am now, being a Mum to my amazing little girl.
I still feel completely overwhelmed by her. I can’t wait to see her grow up, I know she is going to become an amazing woman and I am so proud of her already.

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